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Photo of killed Taliban leader released

Published: 3:11PM Monday December 03, 2012 Source: ONE News

A photo has been released of the Taliban leader believed responsible for the deaths of four New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan.

Abdullah Kalta was killed by a NATO raid last week and ONE News has now obtained the only photo available of him.

Kalta was killed by a coalition airstrike after being spotted preparing a roadside ambush, thought to be targeting Afghan police and officials in Bamiyan Province, the Defence Force said last week.

The airstrike also killed four others in his group. Only a couple are believed to have escaped.

Military chiefs claimed Kalta frequently boasted about targeting more New Zealand soldiers, both to his own group of insurgents and to others in the Bamiyan area.

Kalta is believed to be responsible for the deaths of four Kiwi soldiers in two attacks since 2010, including the roadside bomb which killed Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance-Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris in August.

He was also thought to be involved in the August 2010 attack which killed Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell.

The photo was obtained from military sources today.